Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday and I was privileged to preach at Pickens Presbyterian Church. Many of the worshippers wore red. The children began the service by walking in waving sticks with red and orange streamers. Adults began talking all at once, saying different things. The scene was set for the Pentecost experience of Acts 2 where people heard the gospel in their own language due to the movement of the Holy Spirit. Others simply thought the disciples were drunk!
The story of Pentecost reminds us that we are the church because of God’s actions, not ours. We can be partners in listening and speaking but nothing can happen without the direct activity of God in our midst. God does not NEED us to pray so that God can act. However WE NEED to pray. We pray for God’s wind and fire to inspire us. We pray that God will ignite us to boldness and courage in proclaiming the faith. We pray that we can listen for God’s words which come in unexpected ways from unexpected people. We pray that we will be transformed from a group who is content with things as they are to a group who is so enthusiastic with the love and joy and hope of God that people will think we are crazy or drunk. We can pray that God’s amazing power will crack us wide open so that the light of God’s love will shine from us into the whole world. We pray that we will listen when what we really want to do is tell others what we think they should do and we pray that we will speak when we what we really want to do is run the other way in fear.
Come, Holy Spirit, come!